Mastercard said Monday that it will now let transgender and nonbinary people use their chosen name instead of their legal name or deadname.
As part of the company’s LGBTQ inclusion initiatives, Mastercard will offer a “True Name” card that it hopes “will ease a major pain point for the transgender and non-binary community.”
“For many in the LGBTQIA+ community, the name on their credit, debit or prepaid card does not reflect their true identity,” Mastercard said in a Monday statement. “As a result, for the transgender and non-binary communities in particular the card in their pocket can serve as a source of sensitivity, misrepresenting their true identity when shopping and going about daily life.”
About 32% of people who have shown ID with a name or gender that did not match their identity reported being harassed, attacked and/or denied services, according to a 2015 survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality. Because of such negative experiences, many in the trans and nonbinary communities decide against going through the process of changing their names and genders presented on cards.
Mastercard said Monday that it is working to create “a sensitive and private process free of personal questions” for those looking to get rid of deadnames, or birth names, on their card.
Deadnaming is considered problematic because it can invalidate and disrespect those who go by their chosen names, according to Pink News. In 2018, Twitter banned deadnaming trans users, labeling the act as a form of abuse or harassment.
“Essentially, it highlights that they’re not supported in their transition process, whether it’s before, during or after,” Pink News said, adding that many don’t realize the “depth of emotion” linked to a trans person’s identity.
Using a trans or nonbinary person’s chosen name instead of their deadname is also a mental health issue. Trans and nonbinary youth who were allowed to use their chosen names reduced their odds of suicide and depression, according to a study published last year in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
To avoid deadnaming a person, ask them what they would prefer to be called, refer to them by their chosen name even when they’re not present, and correct others who deadname a person.